Sail Date: June 2019
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. ... Read More
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. First the good: beautiful room, lots of storage, very attractive. The Haven has a restricted access pool and sun area, as well as its own dining room and concierge services. The servers and bartenders are very good in the Haven. I think the best get promoted here. The ship made all stops on time and the entertainment on board was decent, though always extremely crowded. If you are in to casino play, there is a huge casino on board, well-used. The bad: We should have figured out that family villas would mean lots of kids. We thought that sailing during the school year and the extra cost of the Haven would restrict the number of young kids. We were wrong! Crying children, tantrums, running around the dining room spoiled pretty well every meal in the Haven dining room. This dining room is undersized for the 320 people in the Haven area, and the dining room is consequently crowded. You can almost always count on waiting for a table, and the noise level was always so high that meals there were uncomfortable. We compensated by eating elsewhere most of the time. The concierge staff in the Haven were generally unhelpful unless the service you were requested brought in more money to the company. Probably the worst concierge staff we have experienced in our dozen or so cruises. They were very good at saying no. The ship itself has about 4000 cruisers and a lack of facilities for this many. All entertainment venues were overcrowded and we had to always arrive 20 minutes of so early to get a seat, except in the large theatre, which has sufficient seating, but is quite unattractive. The venue we missed most on this boat is a nice, quiet piano bar where we could dance to pleasant piano songs. In summary: The Haven rooms and facilities are quite outstanding, except for the dining room. The servers, bar staff and room stewards are outstanding, though we were disappointed with the concierge staff and the butler was OK, but not great. The specialty restaurants are decent but not great. The ship's venues are crowded and loud. We will probably not return to the Haven on Norwegian. We were the wrong people for this ship. We'll return to the luxury lines we have enjoyed in the past. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Dining was the biggest disappointment. Garden Café Buffet was disorganized and poorly laid out, food was cold and tasteless. Dessert selection small and flavorless. Moderno breakfast buffet had a nice selection but ice cold. Taste, Savor ... Read More
Dining was the biggest disappointment. Garden Café Buffet was disorganized and poorly laid out, food was cold and tasteless. Dessert selection small and flavorless. Moderno breakfast buffet had a nice selection but ice cold. Taste, Savor and Tropicana all have the same menu and nothing to write home about. Service was slow with a few exceptions (Zimik our Tropicana waitress was most excellent). Food here too was subpar compared to other cruise ships. We let the Asst. Maître D Isaac Dobson know our feeling one evening and gave him our room number but no effort was made to follow up. We spoke with a few other passengers who agreed the complimentary offering weren't great but said the specialty restaurants were pretty good. O'Shenigans was okay with good service. Bar service and drinks were outstanding (Vinnie and Darwin at the Sunset Bar were most excellent). Casino smoke was a little annoying. Theater shows are not every night. However, the Million Dollar Quartet and Burn the Floor were both worthwhile. There is no movie theater. State room was average size, nice big bathroom but the balcony was tiny (Rm 8748). Some noise from the theater until 11pm. Embarkation was pretty slow but it is a big ship. Disembarkation was smooth, taxi wait not awful. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I had a voucher PLUS I like the solo cabin option. However, the solo lounge director staff was unable to get us to know once another.. Still nice to have our own place for coffee, etc. I never had to wait too long at the ... Read More
I had a voucher PLUS I like the solo cabin option. However, the solo lounge director staff was unable to get us to know once another.. Still nice to have our own place for coffee, etc. I never had to wait too long at the complimentary restaurants. However, at Taste and Savour the service was very slow and many of the staff appeared to have a language issue. NCL need to make sure each waitstaff has a good understanding of English. Also, when I asked someone for something and it was NOT in there service area, instead of getting it, they passed the request along to someone else which caused taking additional time. Several time I had to ask the manager to provide menus as no one claimed responsibility as our waitstaff!!!! Speciality restaurant service was excellent. I had three excellent massages. But please cut the hard sell. So off-putting.The LGBT meet and greet in the Sunset Bar was well attended and bar staff friendly. Even the cruise director stopped by to introduce himself. I avoided NCL shore excursions. Very expensive and more intimate to find your own tour guides,especially in St. Petersburg. I only took SPB tour as many of the ports could be seen on your own with a local map. Disembarkation was a disaster. Took much too long. Just get off the ship early and do not wait until you tag color is called. I would book NCL again but only on a smaller ship. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We took the June 7, 2019 Northern Europe cruise out of Copenhagen, Denmark in a Haven Spa suite (14728). We are a couple traveling without children from Arizona to Denmark via London. There is a direct British Airways flight from Phoenix ... Read More
We took the June 7, 2019 Northern Europe cruise out of Copenhagen, Denmark in a Haven Spa suite (14728). We are a couple traveling without children from Arizona to Denmark via London. There is a direct British Airways flight from Phoenix to London and then we hopped a short flight to Copenhagen. Arriving the day before departure left us a day to wander around Copenhagen. We had booked an inexpensive hotel in Copenhagen called "Wakeup Copenhagen, Borgergade." It was cheap and clean, but we discovered it was designed for tiny, tiny people. It was so small it was hard to turn around in the shower. We are small, trim people and found it so cramped that we booked a different hotel at the end of the cruise, even though we lost our payment for "Wakeup." The second hotel was the Best Western in Copenhagen and was slightly larger, but still small. I have never been to Copenhagen before, so the room size surprised me. It appears to be the norm, so you are warned. We embarked around 12:30 PM on the 7th. As Haven dwellers, we expected a smooth process and it was not. There was an issue with the NCL keycard printing process. We are both latitude members and in the Haven, but we wound up with a standard keycard for my wife and a latitude card for myself and neither were haven cards. This took 15 minutes and it looked like everyone had the same problem. We had to get the card issue fixed onboard and the woman working on the ship said in not so many words that somebody made a major error. Not sure what happened, but it was a hassle. Haven priority boarding did not really matter as we arrived so early that we just walked on board. Once on board we hung out for a bit in the Haven lounge and then we went to our rooms about an hour later. We had sailed on Getaway before, so we felt no urge to wander around the ship. However, the ship went through a refit the month before, so the furniture, carpeting and some amenities on the ship were updated. Everything looked great and the addition of a full-sized Starbucks kept my caffeine needs in check. I am sure there were many other updates I did not catch, but the main one I noticed was the main theatre looked much updated and the Illusionarium was altered to support the Cirque show rather than the magic show. The Haven Spa cabin was very nice, but something of a letdown. Due to booking late, our Haven options were limited. The spa suites are all outside the Haven area and their main feature is a large jet tub right next to the bed, Haven access and the thermal suite is included. Otherwise they resemble the other mini-suites. The in-room tub was silly, yes it was large and had jets, but it took forever to fill and the experience was lackluster. I used it once to try it out and never even looked at it for the rest of the trip. The Thermal Suite included with our room once again proved to be worth every penny. A great place to recover after a brutal day of excursions or the sea days. That said, the up-charge for the Haven spa room was likely not worth it. Just get a haven room and pay for the Thermal Suite. Likely cheaper and you do not loose 25% of your room to a useless spa tub. The room steward did a good job, but the towel animals went extinct due to their impact on the ship's laundry load. (Someone asked about them during the Q & A with ship's officers. You can get them on request now.) Wife noticed that we no longer got new shampoo bottles every day, or new slippers that come with the Haven. Small things, but it looks like NCL was doing some cost-reduction. Nothing too annoying, just thought I would mention it. Steward also distinguished himself by not bothering us at all. Unlike the butler. Our butler was very annoying. We almost never make use of them and he was clearly fishing for "tippable" moments from us. I guess some people like the attention, but we started putting up the 'do not disturb sign" just to fend him off. Shipboard dining was the usual mixed bag. The Haven restaurant was good as usual, but the limited, unchanging menu hit us hard this time as it included a lot of fish, lamb and duck, not our favorites. Still Haven dining had the advantage of being always available, quiet and tasty. We ate their most days for our meals, but did venture out to some other dining options. The Garden Buffet is both useful and painful simultaneously. Useful in that the food is tasty, available and fast. Painful in that it is too small for the passenger load. Going at peak times before port days means that everyone is trying to eat before the same disembarkation time. It is awful, no seating, crowds and pushy idiots from countries with no concept of "getting in line." We only ate there at odd hours or to grab a snack. "Shanghai's" is a noodle/dim sum restaurant that is a blight on dining. Truly awful noodle dishes came out lukewarm, with soggy noodles and tasteless broth. The only edible thing on the plate was the spring roll that likely came out of a freezer. Avoid this place like it is infectious. Cagney's had a great steak and was excellent. The other places we ate at were fine and not worth mentioning. Just be aware the lines can be long on the sea days and your should book in advance. Entertainment was the usual trivia/bingo/shows/sales pitches. A note on the sales pitches, they were frequent and intrusive. Your cabin has a message system built into the TV and 90% of my messages were some sales pitch for various goods, Cruisenext and services. NCL needs to reduce the load on the sales efforts. It reached the point of satire by the end of the trip. It was just too obvious and silly to not laugh at. A particularly humorous retail moment happened after St. Petersburg. There is a "Russia Bazaar" held on board that the staff talked up as "high-quality products" and "better value" than the souvenir options on shore in Russia. We had already bought our nesting dolls (they are everywhere) on shore, but I happened to be walking by when they set up the "Russia Bazaar." I noticed that the boxes the Russian products were coming out of were labeled "Kowloon, Hong Kong." It is possible the boxes were merely reused to store the Russian goods between cruises. As to the other possibility, I shall let you draw your own conclusion. A word on "CruiseNext," the NCL deposit system. They basically give you a discount if you give them some money up front. In our case, we knew we were going again with the four year time limit, so we put in $500.00 and they gave us $250 in onboard credit. We were happy with that, but on the last day suddenly a new offer appeared that stated if you deposit $500, you get $500 towards your next cruise for a total of $1000. However, you do not get the $250 credit now. I asked to convert from the $250/$250 deal to the $500/$1000 deal. They did it without question. We were just confused why the second option only appeared on the last day of the cruise. We hit the trivia a few times on sea days and the Bingo games were fun (we won twice is the only reason. We played on their money). The only issue with Bingo is NCL is making a killing and the pots are tiny. A $49.00 buy-in to play and pots hovering around $300-$400 is terrible. Given the number of players a similar ashore game would pay much better. Still, it is fun so long as you can afford it. "Burn the Floor" for the second time was nice. Good show and some talented dancers. Haven dwellers had some reserved seats which was great. Cirque Dreams and Steam was the highlight of on-board entertainment. Even on a tiny stage, the performance was impressive. We have seen various Cirque shows and this was among the "tightest" in terms of bang for your buck on a small stage. Well worth attending, even with the up-charge. I also did the "Escape the Big Top" escape room, also held in the Illusionarium. I have done escape rooms before, but this one was very poorly designed. Several puzzles used color coding as part of the puzzle and I am color blind, so that was tough. Also, there are red herring puzzles in the room, which is extremely controversial among escape room designers. You do it in a randomly assigned group and I got a nice group that included some kids. It was an amusing 45 minutes, but the odds of getting out hit zero the moment I saw who was on my team. Your mileage may vary if you go with a larger group you know that likes puzzles. We were on a colder cruise, so the pool deck did not see a lot of action. A couple of mildly sunny days got the kids in the pools, bu the adults stuck to the hot tubs. This means the Haven's separate deck and pool was barely used. We even got confined to the indoor areas on a sea day because of waterspouts potentially landing on the deck! We did not travel with kids, so I have no comment on the kid's activities. Ports and Shore Excursions We never book excursions through NCL due to the massive markup, so all the excursion below were made through Viator Warnemunde, Germany NCL pitches this port as an opportunity to visit Berlin. Sure, if you enjoy hours in a bus and few hours in one of the great cities of the world, burning rubber between photo ops and then more hours in a bus to get back in a single day. We decided to book the more rational "Hanseatic Rostock and Fairytale Schwerin Shore Excursion." It is about an hour away and you spend the day going through a charming medieval city and castle. The Viator tour cost $245 for two people and the entire experience went smoothly. As one would expect in Germany. Lots of great photo opportunities. Tallinn, Estonia Talinn is so tiny that we just got off the boat and walked around. No other transport was needed. We checked out the city and its architecture, ate lunch in a restaurant that was vaguely medieval in style and cuisine (Olde Hansa is the name. A little cheesy, but it was fun and the food was good). We spent a couple of hours in the "Kiek in de Kök" museum. Built inside an old fortress, this was a great museum and be sure to pay for the "Bastion Tunnels" upgrade to wander the old tunnels, now used as a museum. It is quite a hike in terms of length and stairs. Lots of stairs. Worth the effort though. St. Petersburg, Russia (Overnight) Once again, we book the Viator excursion called "St. Petersburg 2-Day Grand Shore Excursion Tour." At $513 for two people it was a good deal for the amount of destinations you see. Here is the tour itinerary Expert, professional and personable guide for two days Experienced and conscientious driver with a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for two days All port fees & local Russian taxes Lunch on both days Subway ride Canal cruise (boat ride) Bottled still water (one bottle per person per day) Electronic headsets for groups of 7 and more Photo permissions inside museums Entry/Admission - The State Hermitage Museum Entry/Admission - Park And Gardens of Peterhof Entry/Admission - Catherine Palace and Park Entry/Admission - Yusupov Palace on Moika River Entry/Admission - Savior on the Spilled Blood Entry/Admission - The Museum Complex The State Museum St. Isaac’s Cathedral Entry/Admission - Peter and Paul Fortress (Petropavlovskaya Krepost) Entry/Admission - Peter and Paul Cathedral I usually loathe this type of guided-tour-with-headset-transmitters-follow-the-flag, but in this case it was necessary. Russia, unlike the rest of the countries on this cruise made us go through stern-looking immigration officers stamping passports to get ashore. If you do not have a tour, you have to get a separate visa. It is doable, but we were just looking for an easy excursion day with minimal hassle. There is no such thing as an "easy" excursion in St. Petersburg. This was a hard two days. Every stop on the list above is spectacular from both a historical and cultural perspective...and more crowded than any destination I have ever visited. The first day we hit every stop except Peterhof and Catherine's Palace. Turns out we were there starting Tuesday and a couple of places were closed on Wednesday, so they packed it in to he first day. I did not know this at the time, but it made for a long, hard day. Words cannot describe some of the things I saw in St. Petersburg. The art and architecture are among the most beautiful I have ever seen. The Hermitage in particular is stunning. However, the Russian authorities know this and push more people than comfortable through these locations. The Hermitage was packed with tour groups, literally shoulder to shoulder, shuffling along like zombies. That was the worst, but all the urban locations were nearly as bad. Only on the second day did you get some relief at Peterhof because it is about an hour outside of town and is a giant park. Much nicer. That said, still go see these places. It may be miserable, but walking into a room with 26 Rembrandts hanging was remarkable. The tour itself was nice and our guide spoke excellent English. Helsinki, Finland Weather bit us here and we just walked around town taking in the city. We took the "Hop on, hop off" bus around to the Rock Church. As a suggestion, if you go to the cafe run by the church on the left of the entrance you can get a cup of coffee and a discount ticket to the church. The regular ticket line was long and we just walked in. They had a small choir singing and the acoustics were interesting. Too many people though. Death by tourist. For some reason the Sibelius Monument (he was a composer) is a tourist stop. Not much to see, just a large piece of modern art. Took all of five minutes to exhaust that stop and we got on the next bus. We took some photos of old buildings and then headed back to the dock where there was a sort of flea market (tourist junk) and food vendors. I got a reindeer burger (tasty with mustard) and the wife got vendace. Vendace are small fish cooked and salted, basically sardines. However, after taking a few bites a large, aggressive sea gull swooped down and attacked her lunch! The look like an ongoing issue at the port, so hide in a tent before eating. Weather was poor (cold and wet, with wind), so Helsinki was not a truly memorable stop. Except for the seagull. That is burned in our memory forever. Stockholm, Sweden. Again, no excursion because I did not see the need in a country with spectacular public transit. However, I did buy a "Hop On Hop Off" (HOHO) bus ticket from the Stromma company. The ship docks at Nynashamn about an hour from Stockholm and the "Hop On Hop Off" bus makes a couple of special runs between the dock and Stockholm. However, I did not catch that they leave the port at 1000. We got off at 0800. The driver explained that many people get confused by this and they just walk 20 minutes and buy a train ticket at the local station. The trip to Stockholm takes an hour. Once there you can use the HOHO ticket inside the city. We took this option and it worked well. Tickets for the train were inexpensive and you need to buy them at the tourist office just outside the port area. You cannot miss it. Once you have a ticket, just follow a blue line painted on the ground for 20 minutes to the station. We got off at the main station in Stockholm and decided to start with the Vasa Museum. Vasa is a ship that sank and was raised and put into a museum. We hopped into a cab and promptly spent 20 minutes in traffic. After creeping along we got out of our driver that the South Korean president was in town and security had tangled up the entire downtown. The HOHO buses were not running at all! Thanks Stromma for not telling the people who pre-bought tickets about a massive issue with your service. I was not happy. However, while stewing at the thought of losing out on precious time stuck in traffic, I noticed 20 men in full military regalia ride by on horseback. We bailed on the cab and discovered the South Korean leader was getting a full military parade/escort to meet the king. Amazing experience and we felt so lucky to have seen it. Security was super-tight, so we could not get in the palace, but the parade more than made up for it. Traffic was a disaster, but I remembered that our HOHO ticket included their HOHO boat that ran around the harbor. We took it from the palace without issue and hopped off at the Vasa Museum. Vasa is amazing! A huge sailing ship that sank hours after it was launched and basically raised nearly intact in 1961. I loved it and the associated museum is fascinating. We also visited the Nobel Museum. Small, but fascinating history of Nobel winners and the man himself. There was a Martin Luther King Jr. exhibit going and it was interesting to see American history from a different perspective. After a quick lunch at a restaurant named "Paris, Texas" (expensive but very tasty), we headed back to the ship. No real issues navigating the public transit. It was easy. In Nynashamn is a small chocolate shop named "ChokladHuset" that you should see the sign on the way back from the train station. Expensive, but excellent chocolate. Their claim to fame is they do the chocolate for the Nobel prize winners when they visit. Copenhagen, Denmark Although this was the embark/disembarkation port, we were there long enough to do some things before and after the cruise. We basically wandered around. The Kastellet is an old fortress near the center of the city converted to a lovely park. We also visited Tivoli Park, a 100+ years old amusement park. Do not think Disneyland here. It is a small, charming affair with some rides that look better suited to a local amusement park in rural America. Lots of places to eat, play carnival games and generally enjoy the long evenings. We even found an open, unattended fire pit to sit around! Be warned, while entrance is cheap, we got beef stew and a bottle of water for $71.00 USD. Tasty, but clearly your are paying a premium on top of the already expensive Danish restaurant prices. Copenhagen is on the return visit list for us. Wish we had more time here. Disembarkation in Copenhagen, Denmark This next bit got my blood up. We got a letter stating that the port has limited transportation options (including cabs) were limited at the port on disembarkation day. So we bought the $15/person transfer to the main train station offered by NCL. This meant we got off the ship at 0940 in the morning. As haven dwellers we could have been the first off. Instead we had to sit around for hours only to watch perhaps 20 taxi cabs waiting near the port. Because of this we did not go through the Haven disembarkation process and went out with the rest of the passengers. This was painful, long, crowded waits to get off and, my favorite, an idiot decided to carry his own luggage off the ship. Normally you leave it outside your cabin the night before and then pick it up on the dock. This genius (who was elderly and wearing a back brace!) tried to carry all his own luggage off through a crowd of surly people down two flights of narrow stairs. He got some help from good samaritans, but the level of stupid was impressive. Bottom line, NCL oversold the transport issues in Copenhagen to sell their transport option. Summary It was a great cruise with a few glitches. Nothing that would prevent me from suggesting you check it out. My lessons learned include: 1. Skip the spa suite 2. Check hotel room size better before leaving 3. Wear comfortable shoes. The cobblestones are murder on your feet! 4. The weather went from hot to cold and miserable. Pack appropriate gear. Have fun! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Let me start with the positive - the ports were fantastic and our family enjoyed every minute visiting the beautiful cities. We found the disembarkation and embarkation process efficient considering the number of passengers on this ship. ... Read More
Let me start with the positive - the ports were fantastic and our family enjoyed every minute visiting the beautiful cities. We found the disembarkation and embarkation process efficient considering the number of passengers on this ship. The two NCL excursions we participated in were a good value for the money and were very well run. Our independent tours through TJ Travel were fantastic. I agree with an earlier reviewer that this ship is designed for warm weather travel, making the interior public areas very crowded, so bring warm clothing so you can take advantage of the outdoor areas and activities. We were very fortunate and had beautiful weather the entire trip. It was hit or miss with staff overall, some were friendly but most seemed to be going through the motions and giving their minimum effort to engage with guests. Our room steward did his job, but made sure we knew when he was off the clock, which we thought was odd since the only thing we asked him for were some extra towels. Our issue is with the overall cleanliness, food handling and sanitation practices aboard this ship and is the main reason we will never sail with NCL again. I understand staff can only do so much, but sanitation practices are critical aboard a ship - especially one of this size. Public areas including the railings and elevators were not wiped down and sanitized during the cruise; by the end of the cruise, visible fingerprints and grime could easily be seen throughout the ship. Vomit in the public bathrooms was not cleaned promptly. Cafe' (buffet) staff did not practice or enforce basic sanitation practices (despite signage everywhere) other than "washy washy" and passengers reused dishes and routinely filled personal beverage cups right in front of staff and staff did nothing to stop them despite our comments and complaints. A large amount of passengers were coughing and sneezing openly throughout the ship, making proper sanitation practices all the more important. Our first specialty dining experience at Moderno went well and the food and service was very good. Our next dining experience at La Cucina was not so. The members of my family ordered different food items at La Cusina, but we all wound up with identical gastrointestinal distress afterward indicating whomever handled our food did not follow basic food sanitation practices; we all refused to attend our last pre-paid dining experience at Cagney's for this reason. I have shared my experience with NCL, and can only hope that for the sake of future passengers they will review and improve the food handling and sanitation practices aboard this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Tons of fun on the NCL Getaway June 7th, 2019 cruise. The ship just got off from a 1-month dry dock and you could tell all the wall furnishings, artwork, carpet, paint, and other details were attended too. Embarkation: Fast and ... Read More
Tons of fun on the NCL Getaway June 7th, 2019 cruise. The ship just got off from a 1-month dry dock and you could tell all the wall furnishings, artwork, carpet, paint, and other details were attended too. Embarkation: Fast and painless Took about 35 min or so. Food: Recommend eating at Savor/Taste whenever you have the chance. These two dining rooms are 2 of the 3 main dining halls apart from the buffet. They have their own kitchen and you can taste the difference. First night line was long-about 45-minute wait but only 15-20 each night thereafter. They did allow reservations on the last night and thank goodness we did that. People were waiting for an hour or so I hear. Tropicana allows reservations but they go really fast. Book for your entire cruise if you don't want to wait. The food and service were lacking compared to Savor/Taste. Tropicana has nightly entertainment which can be fun. Buffett was a buffet, not horrible or great. Crazy, crazy busy ALL the time. We sat outside a few times-a little chilly but a nice break from the crowds. Cabin: BEST CABIN out of my 7 cruises. Had 2 adults, 2 kids. Plenty of storage (2 closets and multiple drawers. Bunk bed plus lower couch bed which kids enjoyed. Bring a window curtain or shower curtain with hooks and you can partition off the room at night time. Entertainment: Free Burn the floor was meh. Great dancers-but there was no storyline or anything to keep you entertained. It was just dancing for 45 minutes. Wish we would have seen Million Dollar Quartet- one of the guys showed up at the Dueling Pianos and he was AMAZING. Dueling Pianos was good fun. Mr. and Mrs. Smith was great. The Comedian was dumb...but with enough alcohol I was laughing. I enjoyed Escape the Big Top-its like Escape the Room. Did not wish to pay for any shows. Water Slides-Kids loved it. Slides are not heated so there were really cold when we went. Pools were a little warmer and many ppl enjoyed. Ropes Course is great with a zip line to at the end. Not to be missed. Mini Golf and rock climbing were great! Osheehans games are fun! Mini bowling ($6/person/game) Pretty expensive and not included in the all-inclusive game package. Air hockey, Pool, Basketball and some others. You will find more in the arcade room too. If you have kids, the all-inclusive game package is worth it. Each game is crazy expensive- 1.50 and up I believe. Kids Camp/Splash Academy: $6/meal which I think is crazy. There is a show performed by the kid's last sea day and if your child does not want to participate, they can't go during that 3 hour block of time. SPA: Booked a couples massage. Was good-not the best. Ended with a hard sales pitch. No Sauna, hot tub, amenities or a shower after... There is a 20% off coupon first sea day-art auction. If you want to use SPA, go get that coupon. Otherwise, the daily deals are ok, but spots filled up fast. Couldn't get into Thalassotherapy Pool-they only sell a limited amount of passes and had zero Sea days available. Ports: Berlin: Best of Berlin & Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp by Viator. Highly Recommend. (ULK tours) Probably one of the best tours I've been on. I was debating the 3hour bus ride both ways...but it was worth it. The camp really made the tour. This was one of the longest days we had, but since there isn't much to see during the bus ride- you have a built-in nap. :) St. Petersburg: Beautiful and surprising! Tour from TJ Travel: 2 day St. Petersburg City Tour. We got SUPER lucky and had Olga who was smart, funny and customized our tour due to the traffic. We overheard many saying they did not like St. Petersburg because of the lines and the number of people. There were quite a few ships in during our stay and line to Hermitage was NUTS. We ended up going first thing on the 2nd day and waited only 30 minutes. The otherwise-the line wrapped around the building. Probably a 2-3 hour wait. Petergof was AMAZING and equally surprising was the Subway Station! Make sure your guide allows you a few minutes at each stop to just look around. It's quite something. Side note: Our tour started at 8:45am and we got outside probably around 9am. You could see most tour operators were waiting outside and not leaving people who had reservations. NCL sends a notice the night prior saying NCL tours only will get off first, and then after 8:45, other tours. You get assigned a group number ( I think there are 12 groups total). The passport line after getting off the ship added to the time it took to get to the tour. (The 2nd day went faster since they entered your information already) Plan accordingly. Tallinn: Walked from cruise port to Old Town-easy walk. About 15-20 minutes. No tour needed. Beautiful place just to stroll around and grab some espresso. We all enjoyed it! Helsinki: Hop On Hop Off by Stromma with Canal Tour. Lots of mini islands which was nice to see. We did not hop off and tour any places as it was freezing for us. The bus was right outside by port. Stockholm: BEAUTIFUL and I wish I had more time there. It would take a few days to explore. Hop on Hop Off by Stromma...EXCEPT this was a horrible experience. They were allowing people getting off the ship to buy at the port-which is fine, if they had enough buses and if it was organized. Took an hour or more just to get on the bus and then an hour or so to drive into town. Then they make you get off by the ABBA museum to catch another bus or get on the canal tour. Another 45 min to get on the canal tour. So we wasted a ton of time with this bus company. Not to mention AC did not work on any of the buses and it was deathly hot. There weren't enough buses to take everyone back to the ship either...so the company had to call in another bus everyone...This took another 1.5 off of our day at port. Book a real tour because this city is not to be missed. It probably would have been one of my favorites. Copenhagen: We spent 3 days after the cruise. Originally had Hotel Nebo booked-which we stayed at before the cruise. Do not recommend at all...ended up at Hotel Tivoli which was great! Spent the entire day at Tivoli (11 hours) and that wasn't enough. My parents (in their 70's) had fun and went on rides. The gardens are beautiful and the food was good. Copenhagen Zoo on the next day. One of the best Zoo's I've been to! Watched a baby polar bear play and jump in the water while the dad ate. Saw a baby kangaroo come out from the mother's pouch and watched others jump around the fields. The panda was eating its bamboo and the monkeys were playing. The 3rd day was just walking around enjoying the city, did a canal tour (highly recommend) and enjoyed local food. Great tour overall. I would say there will be mixed reviews-but it is what you make of it. It's your vacation and some things won't go according to plan or what you hoped for. We just roll with it. It all works out and makes for some great memories in the end. Was the ship too crowded? Yeah. I would opt to go on a smaller cruise next time. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely-one of the better ones. Would I do NCL again? Yes Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The itinerary was what we were looking for, hoped previous experience with NCL would be improved upon, not to be. The good... We made it to all the ports, even if it was a little late a couple of days. Our room steward was very ... Read More
The itinerary was what we were looking for, hoped previous experience with NCL would be improved upon, not to be. The good... We made it to all the ports, even if it was a little late a couple of days. Our room steward was very competent and attentive for the most part. The show Million Dollar Quartet was excellent. We did not use any NCL shore excursions, mainly due to the cost and previous reviews. We used an independent company for Berlin and St Petersburg, which were very good, but used Hop on hop off tours in other cities. Most are okay, although construction, traffic and street closures impacted the ease of getting around. Highly recommend using "Free Tour" walking tours, available in many cities. The bad.... The Internet. We had been warned, but reviews I read made me hope things had improved. Not so. Given that WiFi is available in every port, I would discourage anyone from purchasing the Internet packages. The IT staff were terrible, Even leaving passengers standing at their desk, leaving without any explanation. I had over 100 minutes on my account as we were coming into Copenhagen which I hoped to use to check on travel arrangements, only to find they had cut off access to my plan, and wanted me to sign up again! Giving you bonus minutes only helps if you can get on the Internet. All your time should not be used loving on and logging off. Very slow. The meals.... Trying to get anything at the trough they call the Garden Cafe was a joke. Limited variety, mediocre to poor food, and (although not the ship's fault) incredible rude fellow passengers made it a very unpleasant experience. You should not have to pay extra plus an automatic gratuity to get good food! As the cruise progressed, both my husband and I developed breathing issues while in the cabin. Headaches, clogged throats and sneezing. We asked the steward if they had used some kind of chemical carpet cleaner, but he said no, but by the time we left the ship, neither of us was healthy and both had hacking coughs. We noticed several other passengers in the same condition. The disembarkation process was a joke. As we were taking our own luggage and had a very early shuttle to catch, we asked multiple crew where to line up. Four people, four different answers. Unless you were travelling with NCL arranged shuttles, they had no idea. We almost missed our bus, no thanks to this confusion. A simple direction on the paper delivered to our stateroom directing those who planned to "walk off" to go to the forward elevators would have helped a lot. Instead they just said N/A. Publuc announcements would really have helped, too, but none seems forthcoming. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Dining: Freestyle dining is probably the best part of this cruise from a family perspective. We tried all the complimentary restaurants but the buffet remained our preferred dining area since it offered the widest selection. Our ... Read More
Dining: Freestyle dining is probably the best part of this cruise from a family perspective. We tried all the complimentary restaurants but the buffet remained our preferred dining area since it offered the widest selection. Our favorite non-comp restaurant was Moderno because the meat was delicious and there was a wonderful variety. The waiter brings different types and cuts of meat to the table which you choose whether to try or not. It also had an excellent salad bar with seafood, sushi, green salad, soups, cheeses, and cured meat. Family activities: Our family enjoyed having so much to do onboard. The water slides, ropes course, climbing wall, pools, and games in the library were all viable alternatives to just putting the kids in the very popular kids club. Kids club: The kids club was excellent. Our youngest (3) never wanted to leave and woke up every morning asking to go back to the club. The 9 and 11 year old also enjoyed themselves. The 11 year old could sign in and sign out after two hours. We left our youngest onboard in the kids club while we toured St Petersburg. There was an additional charge for meals on port days ($6 per child per meal) if the kids received their meal while at kids club. We booked our kids in/reserved a place for them ahead of time to ensure that there was space for them while we did our St Petersburg shore excursion. We had to change our day 2 SP excursion since kids club opened at 8am so we changed to an afternoon excursion. On sea days kids club closed for lunch and dinner. Kids club also put together a wonderful circus variety show for parents. During the cruise they taught the kids circus tricks and then the kids performed them in the theater as a big group on our final day at sea. Kids club was no charge until 10:30pm. From 10:30pm-1:30am it was $6/hour $4/hour additional sibling. Teen club: Very happy with their teen club. Our teenager probably had the best time of anyone in our family and was definitely the most hesitant about the cruise. Didn't actually hear much from our tight lipped teen except that it was "really good" which is high praise from that child. It was open until 1:30am, no charge. Guppies: For 2 and under it was a parent/caregiver playroom where parents stayed with the baby and it had opening/closing times. Exercise: The gym was excellent and the jogging track offered lovely views for runners. There was a separate weight room and another room with boxing equipment plus the cardio area which had seaviews. Cons: The ship is huge and it's also quite crowded in the atrium area. Depending on the time of day it was impossible to get a seat and all public spaces in general were often crowded. We didnt mind the crowds. When you book on a huge ship then it's reasonable to assume that there will be crowds. Shore excursions: The shore excursions were all excellent. Some family members booked NCL excursions at every port and there were no complaints. It was really easy to explore the German port town on your own. The train in Germany was literally 5 min walk from the ship and the port had a lovely boardwalk. Tallin was about a 20 min walk from the port and easy to do independently. SP needed an organized shore excursion and our only issue was with timing and kids club opening hours which was solved by doing a half day afternoon excursion on day 2. The HOHO in Helsinki was perfect for our family. Our only issue was the Hoho in Stockholm which had a badly organized return to the ship. Public transportation in Copenhagen: Transportation from the ship to the airport was easy. We used the public bus which had a ticket kiosk literally in front of the debarkation area. The bus took us straight to the metro station where we caught the metro directly to the airport. It took us about 40 minutes. The bus stops right at the ship and is far cheaper than a taxi. One adult ticket allows two kids 12 and under to ride free of charge on the bus and metro. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Full disclosure-this is about number 40 cruise for us over about 30 years of cruising. First, let me tell you all of the GOOD things about the cruise. 1. The food was universally very good. We have cruised on some of the best (and ... Read More
Full disclosure-this is about number 40 cruise for us over about 30 years of cruising. First, let me tell you all of the GOOD things about the cruise. 1. The food was universally very good. We have cruised on some of the best (and worst) and overall the food on the NCL Getaway is very good and in some restaurants just excellent. The best restaurant on-board hands down is Le Bistro. Cagney's is a close second. La Cucino's is just ok. Pretty boring and just ok Italian. The best (no additional charge place) on the ship is O'Sheehan's. It is fun, great service, great food and always open. It is a great alternative for breakfast. The staff is universally good. Dining rooms: Savour is the best. Taste is the worst--poor management and nasty front staff ruin the dining room experience at Taste. The Tropicana is also good and fun with live music. The buffet was just a mess for us. We had a very large tour group from Asia on-board that dominated the buffet whenever it was open. After a couple of attempts we just gave up on getting close to the food or having a place to sit. As mentioned O'Sheehan's was a great alternative. 2. The ship was just overhauled so it is bright and clean. In general a very nice ship. They made a couple of huge errors in design mentioned below. 3. The bars (and there is one every 50 feet) are all nice, well-staffed, and fun. 4. The dinner/circus act is fun and the folks are incredibly talented. Illusionarium I think is the name of the separate dining and performance area. Do not miss this act and dinner. You will have to arrange it in advance of your trip. Ok, now for the BAD stuff with the ship. 1. The internet does not work. Not even a little bit. For those of us who have to work even while on a ship it is a disaster. The manager, to his credit, knows that it is really bad. It is impossible to work or even search on the internet. It is the worst experience for us since the implementation of internet on ships. It is a deal-killer for us as I have to have internet capability. I was refunded all of my cost but that does not solve the issue. 2. The ship's excursion staff is the worst we ever encountered. They are just lost with no management or oversight. Rude, incompetent, and sullen is the best i can do. We heard endless complaints about the staff and the quality of the trips offered by the ship. They fouled up the only ship arranged excursion we purchased. Ultimately we ended up canceling because of the staff errors. It was to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Although we scheduled our trip months in advance (along with this one excursion) when we got on-board they told us that our trip was full and that instead of a 130pm departure we were booked on a 6am departure....huh? Again, no coordination and no one to talk to about the issues. 3. The entertainment is high school level. Sorry, but if you expect anything in the way of entertainment do not look to this ship. The Burn the Floor group is painful. The bands on board were loud. Loud because that was all they could do. Compared to other ships the Getaway has to do better than the folks we had on board. 4. The casino. My suggestion is do not go near it. Over 14 days we saw no one....not a soul...win anything on the slots. We talked to folks who were using the casino and to a person they said exactly what i am telling you. The payout for the slots has to be hideous. I asked what the payout percentage was and they refused to discuss it. That has to tell you something. Walk through it or just donate your money to them and save time. 5. Maybe the poorest design on any ship we have been on is the band/performance/public area on the 6th floor which opens to the 7th floor. It is dead in the center of the 6th floor. It is a horrible place to stick bands as it is just deafening and you cannot get away from it. The sound is ramped-up to an uncomfortable level. It is like a garage band in your neighbors garage that you can hear all over the neighborhood. HInts: 1. In Bergen do a hop on hop off and wander on your own. 2. In Reykjavik walk from the ship and take a taxi downtown. It is about the same price as the mess they have with the bus transports. It is faster and way less hassle. 3. Go to Vitar (or any other trip planner for the stops) and get a private provider for wherever you want to go. It is cheaper, better planned, and a lot less hassle than fighting with hundreds of others who will push you out of the way to be first on a cruise ship bus. 4. Do not believe the provided by the cruise director or others about needing to use the ship provided excursions. You can rent a taxi or private tour for the same or less than you pay to be one of two hundred on a ship excursion. 5. Edinburgh and Copenhagen on your own or on a hop on hop off. Both cities are just wonderful and you cannot get lost. 6. Departing Copenhagen. Stay at the airport area and take the train to the city center. You cannot get lost and it is cheap, clean, and fun. The Marriott AC (the totally weird hotel design) close to the train and the airport is perfect. You can walk to the train station in five minutes. 7. The Tivoli in Copenhagen is worth every penny. A zillion cute restaurants, wonderful gardens, and a fun place to spend a few hours. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have been cruising for many years and chose this cruise because we wanted to see Iceland, Scotland and Norway. We had cruised before with NCL and knew that the Food would not be good, so we bought a 10-dinner specialty dinning ... Read More
We have been cruising for many years and chose this cruise because we wanted to see Iceland, Scotland and Norway. We had cruised before with NCL and knew that the Food would not be good, so we bought a 10-dinner specialty dinning package. Upon arriving in Copenhagen, check in took 90 minutes, once on board we were told that they still needed to load supplies (are they amateurs?, is this the first time they load this ship?), so we ended up leaving 6 hours late which made us loose our next port. We also missed Invergordon Before I booked, I called their reservations office to ask if the ship would need to use tenders at any port and was assured that we would be docking at all ports. THEY LIED to me as we had to disembark 4,000 people with very few tenders at 3 ports. This was horrible, terrible and took at least 2 hours to get in but at Edinburgh we waited for 3 hours in the freezing rain to get back to the ship, my wife got sick. Are they criminals or just stupid? they know that they must re embark 4,000 guests and that this takes at least 40 tenders at 100 guests each. They did hire 2 larger local boats, but we still waited in line for 3 hours. Did they really need to save a few dollars and make everybody’s trip miserable? The Food in general terms is not top Quality, especially at the buffet. At the restaurants it is a little better, as to the specialty dining as I said we bought dinner for 10 of the 14 nights and it was basically acceptable, but not good as it is in other Cruise lines we have sailed in (Princess, RCL, Celebrity, Oceania and even Carnival). So, we tried all of them and repeated the French and Ocean Blue (where you must pay twice). They will try to nickel and dime you at every turn and try to squuueeeeze as much as they can from you (its their Business model), so just be aware. Communication with the guests is sparse, they don’t provide you with the tools to enjoy the cruise, all they try to do is sell, sell, sell. Going to guest services took long lines (60 minutes on average) as they had to deal with infuriated guests. So, if you think that tis cruise is a bargain, think twice because you must add many things others include. Nothing they will give you is top notch, not even average, the ports are usually industrial and not close to town, in Copenhagen there were no taxis, no buses no means of going to town which is 30 minutes away, other cruise lines book buses which they take you (at a cost) to Copenhagen. Other cruise ships were docked in Copenhagen. We decided to leave one night before and pay for a Hotel to make sure that we made our flight back because they could not guarantee that I would make my 11 am flight. The only good thing I can say about this ship is that it was clean. In general terms AVOID NCL AT ALL COSTS. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Our second cruise with Norwegian in eleven years has improved our opinion of this cruise line but still has many other areas of improvement when compare to Princess or Celebrity cruises. The most noticeable areas of improvement were the ... Read More
Our second cruise with Norwegian in eleven years has improved our opinion of this cruise line but still has many other areas of improvement when compare to Princess or Celebrity cruises. The most noticeable areas of improvement were the quality of the meals and the service provided by the crew workers (not the ship officers/supervisors). This was the first time we were on a ship with 4000 other passengers. We tried to avoid the buffet as it was a nightmare trying to get a table, food or walking with the plate(s) back to the table. There were 4 other restaurants included with long line ups. In the future we'll try to avoid ships with more than 3000 passengers. We had a midship mini suite and it was smaller than the regular rooms on other cruise lines. Although the ship was less than 5 years old the rooms were not fitted with USB ports or HDMI port on the TV to manage the media equipment. We could not find a lounge in the entire ship that was fitted for relaxation having a drink overlooking the outdoors. All we could find it was a few chairs on hallways or internal rooms. Logistically the ship was poorly managed in a few areas. On the first day the ship left port 5 hours late due to the poor loading of the provisions. As a result of that we did not stop on the first port in Norway. We did get a $50 refund per room to compensate us for their poor schedule adherence. Who would know that a few days later the captain decided not to stop at another port due to safety, claiming that it was too windy. Looking to the outdoors the water was calm (sea state 1) and almost no wind. We did not get any refund for that port. As it was we missed 25% of the ports included on this tour and the loss of booked tours on land. The port tendering was another nightmare and in one occasion over 600 people we were retained in the theater room for over two and a half hours before we could start boarding the tenders. The Taste restaurant had a very rude receptionist but nothing was done about it and everyday was the same thing. We stop going there. My conclusion for our future on Norwegian cruises is that we would have to read many excellent reviews before we could contemplate another cruise with them but definitely not with other 4000 passengers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was so disappointing as we have cruised Norwegian in the past, and Loved it. With the dry dock, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to fall in love with the ship all over again, and we were so WRONG. We chose this ... Read More
This was so disappointing as we have cruised Norwegian in the past, and Loved it. With the dry dock, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to fall in love with the ship all over again, and we were so WRONG. We chose this cruise for the Ports of Calls. Two of our Ports were CANCELLED including Invergordon which was one of the main Ports and Haugesund. No compensation offered for the cancellation of Invergordon and we had private excursions booked that we forfeited. Embarkation and Tenders- Talk about a cluster, we were five hours late leaving Copenhagen. The tender situation only amplified the complete incompetence of the staff coordinating guests getting on and off the boat. There was only one boat loading/ unloading 4000 guests at a time and they packed each tender to the max. There should have been multiple tenders loading/ unloading at a time. The que for getting off the ship was a nightmare and basically forced you to book an excursion so you could get off the ship at a decent time. This confusion also caused th 6, 7, 8 floors to be a mess of humans waiting, and pushing to get off the ship and significant traffic flow problem. The staff driving the tenders took multiple attempts to dock the tender (throwing ropes, smashing into the side of ships and docks. Smoke - the smoking in the casino is excessive and permeates the 6, 7, 8 floors and makes the Bistro unappealing. Smoking ban on interior spaces should be considered. Food - Specialty restaurants did not disappoint we visited Brazilian, Steak, Raw Bar. The buffet food was on more than one occasion had hot food at room temperature, ran out of salad (at all stations) and fresh fruit salad (sub with canned), chicken was commonly overcooked. The dining room served the same meal the entire voyage for lunch (no changes), the selections were not inspiring and boring. Best meal in the dining room was the Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp. No Lobster Night. Seafood Night at the buffet was unimpressive with no shrimp cocktail, crab claws, or lobster. Starbucks was a nice addition. Entertainment - The shows were good, but only two on a 14 day cruise. Syd Norman was a nice addition with great singers. Dueling Pianos was good, but then played same songs every night which gets redundant and boring. Basillio Magician/ comedian was terrible. Excursions - Had to manually get adjustment for charges on every excursion with our elite status discount. This should be automatic. Not see if I notice. Ship - lacked interior space for the number of people on board to comfortably stay inside. It was a cold weather trip. I do not recommend this ship for that type of itinerary. The common theme on the ship is that nobody knew where anything was. Customer Service - Pony up and plan to wait 30-60 minutes. It was a drag to address any issues. If you tried to call, you were instructed to call back later as they were busy. Significantly understaffed. Medical Center - It is anticipated that if you need medical service while at sea you will pay a premium. Holy - Norwegian takes that philosophy and crushes it. I had a sinus infection/ early bronchitis, and paid $150 for DR visit (expected), and $225 for GENERIC made in India Mucinex (1/2 the strength of Name Brand, requiring 2 generic for every 1 Name Brand pill - AND they charge by the pill), Generic Afrin, and Generic Amoxicillin (Not Expected). These drugs would have cost $40 total back in the United States. When I inquired about drug charges, I was told that the ship does not differentiate between generic and name brand, but clearly their charges do. Overall Experience - this cruise was a let down in so many ways. The traffic flow, the odd cruise director who never seemed to be around, staff that couldnt make decisions, constant let downs with cancellation of ports. This was an expensive once in a lifetime cruise and our experience was so bad that even as seasoned cruisers (20+ cruises) we are seriously debating if we cruise again. Such a disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
+++ Syd Norman´s, love that place, Rock the Pour House and Trixi Band was so much fun +++ Staff very friendly +++ ports, Norway, Iceland, Scottland are amazing +++ Million Dollar Quartet +++ Dance Battle was great +++ Glow ... Read More
+++ Syd Norman´s, love that place, Rock the Pour House and Trixi Band was so much fun +++ Staff very friendly +++ ports, Norway, Iceland, Scottland are amazing +++ Million Dollar Quartet +++ Dance Battle was great +++ Glow Party +++ o sheehaan´s with Billiard and Dart, love that pub style ++ food, was mostly good ++ spa enjoyed my time there o at my other cruises i loved howl at the moon, this time the musician didn´t get me --- big giant - to NCL Management for Deckplan change and cut included deck space for a bigger vibe. so we were sailing into the Fjords without a front view, hate that change -- Tropicana Taste and Savor were busy all the time, hard to get a table without waiting time --- they never showed a late night movie in the Atrium ( loved that at the Breakaway last year ) Breakaway, Getaway and Ecape are for me the best ships in the NCL fleet, i hope NCL destroy them not with more changes. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise primarily for the Itinerary - however we missed 2 ports. The 1st due to NCL's disorganization and leaving Copenhagen several hours late. The 2nd Port there is conflicting information, Captain said high winds, ... Read More
Chose this cruise primarily for the Itinerary - however we missed 2 ports. The 1st due to NCL's disorganization and leaving Copenhagen several hours late. The 2nd Port there is conflicting information, Captain said high winds, newspapers say dock had ambulance and police do to an incident. Getaway designed for the Caribbean, not Northern Europe. People normally on water slides, the pools, etc were inside making for a very crowded, very noisy ship. Activities were over subscribed and over crowded and a different venue should have been used. Previous cruises with solo activities were incredible, non existent on this sailing, so bad not funny, embarrassing NCL! Total disorganization and long waits, we were 2 hours in Edinburgh, with the tendering. Food in Savor and Tast lukewarm and overcooked at best. Buffet was insanely crowded. Staff were excellent and great service in the cabin, restaurants and bars. Overall, very disappointingly and would avoid this ship until they get their act together. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I picked this cruise over others because of the itinerary. Before we ever sailed, we had issues with our plane reservations which we booked through them. They never communicated with us anything about them and assumed that we just knew to ... Read More
I picked this cruise over others because of the itinerary. Before we ever sailed, we had issues with our plane reservations which we booked through them. They never communicated with us anything about them and assumed that we just knew to go into their web site and look at our cruise documents for our plane ticket information. No one ever told us to do that. They failed to get us seats on our outbound flights which was a huge hassle since both my husband and I have disabilities. You can not call one number and get things done. You have to call one for the reservation, one for the plane, one for entertainment, one for dining. I was on the phone for hours as you would be on hold for up to 45 minutes. Many of the departments are only open on weekdays during business hours and this includes Premier Air even if you have an emergency and your plane is late as ours was. Our plane was 1 ½ hours late leaving the US be and we only had 15 minutes to make our connecting flight in Germany. By some miracle we made it. Some other people from our state made it through NYC but their luggage did not. They were more than 50% through the cruise with no luggage and NCL took no responsibility for their luggage although they had booked their plane reservations through them. They try to cut the reservations too close to avoid people arriving too soon at the terminal. Beware making your plane reservations through them. I highly recommend arriving a day before. This is the first time I have arrived the day of the cruise. It was a nightmare. The communications from NCL, except to not arrive at the port early, was the poorest of any cruise line I have ever been on in my life. They called, texted and emailed us not to arrive at the port early, yet could not communicate a single word about our plane tickets. I had never sailed on NCL before and did not know that they had a reputation for missing ports for little or no reason – well it happened to us. We missed two out of the nine scheduled ports including one I had really wanted to go back to. Ostensibly the reason was “weather”; however, the port was sheltered and although they claimed 30-40 knot winds, they didn’t look like any 30-40 knot winds this blue water sailor had ever seen. It seemed like more of an excuse to try to get people into the dead casino with an extra sea day. The first port we missed because they were 5 hours late leaving the port the first day. We got a whole $50 credit per state room for their mistake. We got no consideration for missing the port because of “weather.” We liked the location of our stateroom (11262). It was quiet, close to an elevator, close to most dining and entertainment, etc. Food, dinning, spa, etc. is located either at the front or aft of the ship, so the closer you can get to what you are going to use the most, the better. The inside of the ship is a maze of cabins and we were unable to navigate from end to end without going to a public deck. This 16-deck ship is a monster and it took a while to get oriented. There are no comfortable places to sit, read or relax anywhere if you are sailing, as we were, in the North Sea when temperatures are in the 40s to 60s. Everyone was stuck inside and on top of each other. I have never found a ship with so few places to sit and relax. I was glad I paid $319 for a membership in the Thermal Suite just to have a quiet place to go that wasn’t in my cabin. They have teak loungers in there. The Getway had been in drydock for two weeks when we boarded. Everything was supposed to have been refurbished. My TV, coffee maker, remote control and telephone did not work. I had to ask for bath robes, which were supposed to be furnished. The chain of command for getting things fixed was not clear. It was impossible to call down and get anyone to answer your concerns on the phone and I sometimes got a snarky answer. The line at Customer Service was impossibly long, so I started going at 10 at night to avoid the lines. I highly recommend that you sign up for everything in advance – a lot of people could not get reservations for excursions or shows they wanted. The TV and onboard kiosk system were confusing to me. I do not advise paying for anything in advance. You may change your mind about what you want to do. With the exception of Madinero, we regret we did any of the specialty dinning. They were mediocre and not the fine dining we are accustomed to– especially Ocean Blue which we had as a part of our dining package and had to pay extra for on top of that. Madinero was a Brazilian Steakhouse and was excellent. We enjoyed Burn the Floor. We missed Million Dollar Quartet because it took them three hours to get us back by tender after an excursion although we had allocated an hour and a half from the end of the excursion. We enjoyed eating at O’Sheehan’s, which is included. Taste and Savor were about the same, but the lines were often long. The descriptions were not always on point. It also often took a long time to eat. If you participated in the excursions, you had very little time to shop and the shops had very few items from the places this ship went – Denmark, Scotland, Norway and Iceland. They were loaded up for their next cruise – the Baltics. This didn’t seem right. Although they had an extensive art gallery and auctions, they had very limited merchandise in their shops. I understood from people who had cruised on NCL before that this was their worst experience. The staff was unfriendly, didn’t work together well, would not follow through, etc. Everything was not terrible, but for what we paid, it was not what we were expecting. They also want to nickel and dime you to death – everything is extra. The one bright spot was the Excursions Staff who handled my disability better than any other excursions staff on any other cruise line. Kudos. They get FIVE STARS!!!!! I wish they could have done something about the three-hour tender wait. I was so incensed about the poor service and missing the ports, I had my service charges removed and tipped my steward myself. They don’t want you to know this, but you can do this by going to the Service Desk and filing out a form. Some people paid around $1200 for this cruise, as they were not sold out and dropping the price until they weighed anchor. We paid many, many times that as we booked almost a year in advance and our expectations were commiserate with what we had paid. I didn’t pay for a bargain cruise and I didn’t expect a bargain cruise. In talking with others about why they picked NCL, some said it was price, some said itinerary and some said because of the singles program. Unless I get a deal I can’t refuse, this will probably be my last NCL cruise. One last thing, NEVER drink the water in your stateroom. ALWAYS get your drinking water from a restaurant. They filter that water but do not filter the water out of the tap in your stateroom. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my fourth Norwegian Cruise. Good points: 1. Itinerary awesome! Norway, Iceland and Scotland leaving from Copenhagen (I stayed here for 3 nights prior to cruise) 2. Food good (hey I don’t have to cook or wash dishes ... Read More
This was my fourth Norwegian Cruise. Good points: 1. Itinerary awesome! Norway, Iceland and Scotland leaving from Copenhagen (I stayed here for 3 nights prior to cruise) 2. Food good (hey I don’t have to cook or wash dishes plus I’m not a fussy eater) 3. I stayed in the Studio cabins (for solo travellers) and we have our own lounge area with own bar and bartender (scheduled between 5-7 pm) plus our own social director. 4. I did see some entertainment. Not bad. Vincent (the cruise director) and Nicolas (one of the entertainers who came onboard) were good as a duo one night in the Headliners. I recommend seeing Million Dollar Quartet which was excellent! Albeit the music was too loud ( ), Syd Norman’s House band was very good. Bad points: 1. We left Copenhagen 5 hours late so the next day the captain decided to cancel the first port of call of Haugesund, Norway. We got a refundable port charges but didn’t think the non-refundable $50.00 each cabin was good enough. Should have been maybe a bit more and each person. Also we missed Invergordon because captain said it was the weather. I had a private tour here but with luck I got a full refund. Some people felt there was nothing wrong with the weather but I’ll have to take captain word for safety reasons, I think. So I feel we kind of got gipped anyway. At least we should not have missed the first port. 2. The tendering was awful both ports of Geiranger and New Haven (for Edinburgh). I missed my private tour in Geiranger by 15 minutes (in this case those tours won’t give full refund but they were nice enough to give me 50% back). I told Guest Services (I know they won’t care because wasn’t ships tour). I told them I tried to book the tendering on the TV and couldn’t find where (I found out later it was under entertainment, the daily newsletter was vague on how to find it on the TV menu). I went right away next morning went to Box Office to book and was told earliest was tender #5 and that I would be there by noon (that’s when my tour left). Guest Services said others booked on TV. I wasn’t happy with that response and said “well I guess I’m not so techno savvy, eh?” He booked me on #2 tender for New Haven. Didn’t have a private tour in Edinburgh but took a heck of a long time to get tendered as I waited for over an hour in the theatre then it took 25 minutes to get to the port. 3. We solos have our own activities person. I think someone needed to train her better because all she did was get us together for a quick meeting then dinner. We met in another lounge instead of our studio lounge like other ships. The poor bartender (scheduled from 5-7 at the studio lounge) was there alone every evening. A few people here and there got drinks. The activities director did bingo one evening (I won). I kind of felt sorry for her. Maybe I should have trained her. 4. With 4,000 people yep it does feel crowded at times especially at the buffet. Most mornings I’d grab my breakfast and head to our lounge area. I liked my cruise but at the same time this tendering business kind of spoiled it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
First time on NCL and we picked this one due to its itinerary (Iceland, Norway and no Russia), and it will be the last time on an NCL line. The ship had too many passengers and not enough indoor space as we were in generally 40-50 ... Read More
First time on NCL and we picked this one due to its itinerary (Iceland, Norway and no Russia), and it will be the last time on an NCL line. The ship had too many passengers and not enough indoor space as we were in generally 40-50 degree weather and strong winds which basically eliminated most of the outdoor spaces - pool, slides, athletic areas, Waterfront restaurants - leading to crowded public spaces, including all the rather tiny venues for shows. But my biggest complaint was the nearly complete lack of information from the ship, either too little, too late, or not at all. No port maps were provided, nor information on how long (if possible) it would take to get to town or the tour buses (nearly a 10min walk to the buses at Reykjavik), no information on what was happening (no info on why we were 5hrs late out of Copenhagen, necessitating skipping the next port of call, nor explaining about the tender fiasco at Edinburgh (probably related to the death of a passenger and the illness of two others - which we didn't hear until the next day from family members back home - requiring expedited tenders for the Scottish emergency crews and getting everyone to shore,) The crew was a mixed bag - awesome steward - with many lacking the simple ability to just say 'hello" and actually ask if you want your plate removed rather than just reaching in for it. NCL is big about having guest call out exemplary service and because we found the service rather poor throughout (2hrs to eat dinner in the Main Dining rooms? really?), we made the point of filling out those cards for the few that did shine. As noted by other reviewers, way too many pay venues, shows, entertainment - as if paying for the cruise wasnt enough - and a heavy push on merchandise (esp the shops and art show) and "deals" to sail w/ NCL again (not). It was obvious that many of the crew were new as the logistics end was a hot mess. For the tours, instead of handing out the buses numbers and sitting people (in the theater) in an orderly manner, both were haphazard, leading to a near riot on trying to get space on the tenders at Edinburgh. And its a shame too because the ports were amazing, the fjords, waterfalls, geologic wonders were unforgettable, too bad the method and lodging of getting to those ports IS forgettable... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We picked this cruise because of the rare Iceland itinerary. At first, I was in awe as to the size of the ship...we have cruised with Holland America, Cunard, Vantage and Royal Carribean and also Carnival...but our first time on a mega ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the rare Iceland itinerary. At first, I was in awe as to the size of the ship...we have cruised with Holland America, Cunard, Vantage and Royal Carribean and also Carnival...but our first time on a mega sized ship capable of 5000 passengers. What I like: the itinerary, and news that the ship is just refurbished and fresh from dry dock. My first experience with NCL, my wife's second. What I dont like: a.) The captain is a poor communicator, leader. First ports of call was cancelled due to NCL's fault of very late departure from embarkation, supposedly due to delay in loading needed stuff. Though each cabin was re-imbursed with $50, the timing of the announcement is late. The Captain communicated this only HOURS before we were supposed to arrive at first ports of call the following day. For sure they knew way ahead of time that the port will be missed! Again, on another instance, we missed another port, supposedly due to strong winds that suddenly appeared at Inverness, Scotland. Again, the captain made the announcement only 2 hours before the scheduled arrival, in fact, he made the announcement after the ship has already made the U-turn on approach to Inverness. You should see the large number of people complaining to the captain at the atrium that day!!! And to make it worst, this captain allows his clown Entertainment Director (famous for his nuissance "Hey hey hey" and "I see you when I see you" greetings) to make the repeat announcements....we were not entertained and it was not funny. If there is a slightest chance any port will be missed, the CAPTAIN should relay that ahead of time, and keep the expectations LOW.... but no, he would rather surprise the passengers on the last minute! b.) Daily food menu was stale and boring....I've seen better food selection with Holland America and Royal Carribean. The salad bar is anemic. They frequently ran out of spinach (for the omelet), and cucumbers for the salad.... their salad selection is a smalll 5 or 6 vegetable selection. Holland America's salad rendering by far is the best for my, in my opinion. c.) Too many people. There are groups of guests who crowd the water filling stations filling their water bottles. The journey ran out of some fruits, necessitating emergency loading of fruits at our 2nd to last ports of call. d.) Being winter, clearly, the indoor dinning areas are clogged and full of people. Some even make the dining area as their entertainment, discussion place...So discouraging and painfully aggravating to wait for vacant table just to eat. e.) Clearly, the ratio of crew to passengers is at critically low point. Clearly, at the dining areas, the workers are spread too thin. Gone are the common courtesy of waiters going back to you to refill your water/ coffee or just check up on you. Only THREE wine stewards on entire ship, if you will believe me; I was lucky to meet one of them near the end of our cruise. On the bright side however, the most of the crews, attendants, dining room servers are hard-working and courteous. f.) The tendering service is pathetic, took too long and is so disorganized. It took us 3 hours to wait for our tender to go ashore. And the clown that facilitates the tendering process in the theater does not provide adequate information, but instead cracks up not so funny jokes it is irritating. He should constantly provide status, what the process is as new groups of people arrive at the theater. g.) Their customer/guest services also is inadequate. One should see the long lines of people waiting for their turn to be served. With 5000 passenger capacity, one would think that NCL could have plan better how to accommodate this! h) In summary, I can only rate this journey a flat 3 or average. If not for the Iceland itineray, I will give it a poor 2 without any hesitation; and may be a long lasting lessons-learned for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary and the value. We saw a lot of beautiful sights, especially in Norway and the ship's personnel were excellent, especially our room steward. Our cabin was a balcony cabin and we were very pleased ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary and the value. We saw a lot of beautiful sights, especially in Norway and the ship's personnel were excellent, especially our room steward. Our cabin was a balcony cabin and we were very pleased with the accommodations. There was ample storage and we loved being able to sit on the couch and look at the view through the sliding glass doors. We also liked being able to step out onto the balcony and take pictures and it was warm enough a couple of the days that we were able to sit on the balcony. The food was good overall with a good selection, but the buffet was always crowded and finding a place to sit was usually a challenge. Most of the time the food on the buffet was not very hot or very cold unless it was something that was made to order like an omelet. We also ate in O'Sheehan's, Taste and Savor. In those restaurants the food was beautifully presented and hot or cold as appropriate for the dish. Overall the service was pretty good in the restaurants, although there was only one time when we we brought teaspoons for our iced tea and we usually had to ask for sweetener. I gave up getting coffee with my dessert as they never arrived together. The cover band Rock the Pour House was excellent and we also enjoyed Million Dollar Quartet and Howl at the Moon. TV selection was very limited with the same programs and movies airing over and over. A little more variety would have been nice since we had so many days at sea. The big downfall of this cruise was the missed ports and the tendering situation. We missed our 1st port because we were 5 hours late leaving dock because supplies were still being loaded on the ship. We also missed Inverness because we could't get into port because of the wind. There was a very small opening into the harbor and it may not have been an appropriate port for such a large ship. Our time of shore was only about half of the time listed in port at Edinburgh and Geiranger because of the tendering. It was an hour round trip to tender at Edinburgh and when we returned (2 1/2 hours before the last tender was scheduled) we had to stand in line for almost 2 hours in order to get on a tender. The size of the ship and the amount of people on board made tendering a nightmare. All the public areas were crowded, especially the entertainment venues and the buffet plus one side of the buffet closed down early even on days when people were late getting back to the ship because of the tendering situation. If I ever go on another cruise I will not go on such a large ship and I will investigate the ports more thoroughly. Cruising is a very economical way to see Scandinavia, but the amount of people on the ship and the rudeness of some of them made the trip very unpleasant at times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary, so when two of our eight ports were cancelled (one due to NCL inefficiency leaving Copenhagen and the other because of safety concerns getting into Invergordon), it was a big disappointment. A $50 ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary, so when two of our eight ports were cancelled (one due to NCL inefficiency leaving Copenhagen and the other because of safety concerns getting into Invergordon), it was a big disappointment. A $50 credit per cabin didn't compensate for the loss of 1/4 of our itinerary. Two additional stops were cut short because of delays with the tenders -- we waited two hours to get off the ship at Geiranger, two and a half at Edinburgh. Lines to return to ship were horrendous. Port security in Edinburgh said they'd never seen anything like the inefficiency of our NCL crew -- hundreds of people lined up in the rain to return to ship, an empty tender at the dock, and no one making a move to start loading. As the hours went by, port officials ended up supplying extra tenders and staff to get us back to the Getaway. They were probably afraid we'd be there all night if they didn't do something. You can expect lines for dinner, too, even with reservations. I don't think freestyle dining is working out well. Without assigned tables, each party has to be shown individually to their seats, making for long lines at normal dining hours. If you don't make reservations ahead of time, you'll wait even longer. If you want to eat late, it's not as bad. Internet was a waste of money. It could take ten minutes just to connect - minutes you were charged for - and then the service was slow and cut you off, requiring another ten minutes to reconnect. We used most of our minutes trying to cancel car rental and tour plans at the two stops we missed. All of that said, we still had a good time. Howl at the Moon was our favorite entertainment, with Million Dollar Quartet coming in second. Escape the Big Top was a fun activity - wish they'd had more like this. Food was decent, but we had to carry back to our room from the buffet several times because there was no seating available. Probably in a warmer climate there would be less congestion in the indoor spaces, but the outdoor tables were unusable because of cold. O'Sheehans was routinely good, though it suffered a bit from the noisy atrium (more on that below). The chicken wings were terrific - their fry cook knows what he's doing. The atrium was very noisy and crowded, and that's where they chose to play most of the daily games. Only a few hundred people could participate on a ship with 4,000 and we saw a lot of regulars who had space staked out every day. (Guest services is adjacent to the atrium - we found ourselves having to shout to ask a question of them.) The library is tiny and doubles as the card room, but we did find some quiet moments there occasionally. Room steward was great, very efficient and willing to help. Crew in general was friendly -- don't know where the poor management of tenders and port departures is coming from. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This cruise was chosen because the itinerary, particularly that of the first week, suited us just fine. Our first NCL cruise. Before I say more, though, I must emphasise that my wife and I take full responsibility for the fact that this ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because the itinerary, particularly that of the first week, suited us just fine. Our first NCL cruise. Before I say more, though, I must emphasise that my wife and I take full responsibility for the fact that this LARGE ship didn’t, ultimately, suit our quiet ways. Nevertheless......... Other reviews mention the noise. It WAS bad, particularly Deck 6. Ok, so good weather/warmer weather would have seen more people outside? Safely dispersed.. Our misfortune that so many congregated together inside, their conversation competing with so-called entertainment that singularly failed to deliver on many occasions. Some people seem too easily satisfied. The standard on offer was quite poor. No complaints at all with the crew/support staff. Friendly, cheerful and helpful, they were the high spot for us, managing dire situations like the often overcrowded buffet in the Garden Restaurant with good humour and grace. Which is more than can be said for some of the passengers walking round and round endlessly searching for a vacant seat. It was THAT difficult. Zombies walking with plates, smiles absent. Then, the voyage had a poor start, anyway, Haugesund eliminated early on due to the LONG delay leaving Copenhagen. And entirely the fault of NCL. The ridiculously modest compensation SHOULD have come with a heartfelt apology, but it did not. With some people clearly more put out than others, it needed a decent gesture from NCL, but sadly lacking. On to Geiranger, and the tendering process proved a disaster, taking far too long. Should we have had reason to use it at Newhaven, then no doubt we’d have had further reason to complain. Only, by then, we were confined to cabin, respiratory virus rampant, first myself as we departed Iceland, then three days later my dear wife who was hit even harder. We were knocked for six. So much so, that my wife needed medical attention after a further two days, another can of worms opened up as a result. The receptionist in the Medical Centre was useless, able only to force necessary forms for completion into our hands, whilst stressing that we had to pay for everything. The documents completed, we were then taken over completely by a process that allowed for no gentle pursuit of treatment, more the case of think the worst and make sure our asses are covered. So, from mentioning a bronchial incident 14 years earlier, my wife was then subjected to x-rays, blood tests, other tests, drips and two hours of monitoring ....to be on the safe side, we assumed. In truth, a simple swab carried out immediately would have revealed a flu based virus and got us sent away with paracetamol and a need to rest and wait things out. Other would- be patients appeared to have been similarly inflicted. A bigger shock came when our documents were handed to us just before disembarking, the cost outlined reaching the horrendous figure of 1700 pounds, and their typed details conveying misinformation, details that had never been stated by us upon entering that place. Appalling! To arrive home and then find that we could not apply to our insurance company because of these mis statements, AND a vital missing document outlining and verifying the x-ray cost, rubbed further salt into our wounds. This was a money-making exercise at best, that was intended to take insurance companies to the cleaners, a process that simply was not fair on people who felt so rough and who were vulnerable. So, very much a mixed bag of a review. The food was decent in the buffet, exceptional in specialist restaurants. But, regardless of the fact that we enjoyed the first week and our excursions, we were left with a profound sense of anticlimax, our experiences that second week negating so much else. A week later, we are not fully recovered. Whether NCL choose to recognise this as an outbreak that needed attention, we don’t know, but it left us deflated as we disembarked, rest and recuperation our only goal. We do t believe we are the only ones. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because Hurricane Michael prevented up from sailing to Canada last year. I did not want to go a on mega ship but I only got a credit. We chose to stay in Copenhagen the day before and after the trip which gave us ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Hurricane Michael prevented up from sailing to Canada last year. I did not want to go a on mega ship but I only got a credit. We chose to stay in Copenhagen the day before and after the trip which gave us a lot of time to explore the city on foot, no buses! The embarkation and disembarkation were great. Very organized from start to finish. My biggest complaint is they were five hours late and we missed our first port in Norway. Not happy about that at all. The ship is so big and too many people. The ship was gorgeous in every area except the weight lifting room. Terrible machines, too small and not enough variety. There are great high end restaurants but the other free dining is average. Lots of variety with other places that you must pay for. I am not a fan of the buffet. I don't like people handling the same utensils to serve food. They just go a Starbucks. The entertainment was outstanding. We saw most of the shows. We loved Syd Normans. Two great rock bands. The service is fantastic. The crew cannot do enough for you. We loved the small ports. The big ports require traveling to see things. You can't just get off the ship and walk around. Norway and Iceland were our favorites. We knew nothing about tendering to shore and it was a disaster. 45 minutes each way on the little hot boat is a joke. Both times it was pouring rain and 4000 people standing in line for their turn after touring all day was a joke. The shore excursions are costly. Out favorites were, the rib boat in Flam, Norway, the Golden Circle, Overland tour of Geiranger and the Blue Lagoon. The Glamis castle and tour of St. Andrews was a 9 hour tour. No meal. Six hours on the bus. Two hours at the castle and one hour at St. Andrews. The bus rides had guides that never stopped talking, coughing sick passengers (we both were sick after the first week) and many stops were so short you had no time to really explore what you paid a lot of money to see. We missed another port in Scotland at Inverness since the seas were too rough to get in. We had to go back out to sea which meant three straight days of cruising. The seas were 15 foot waves and 40 mph winds. I have had balance problems after that and since I got home. Would I cruise again? I will never cruise again. Too much eating and drinking and not enough time on excursions devoted to exploring the cities you came to see. We saw more in Copenhagen the day before and after our cruise then we did on excursions. The big ships are too big. If I ever did go on a cruise again, it would never been on these rocky cruise ships. The last night in the port in Copenhagen they did a load test from 1 am to 5 am and the ship rocked back and forth. Not my way of ending a cruise especially if you are already having problems from the rough seas. We sailed on Holland America to Alaska and I have to say that the difference in the two cruises was like night and day. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I thought my worst cruise ever was on Carnival over spring break years ago, but Norwegian certainly competes with that cruise and will be the first and last time on Norwegian. We have cruised a number of times and were very disappointed ... Read More
I thought my worst cruise ever was on Carnival over spring break years ago, but Norwegian certainly competes with that cruise and will be the first and last time on Norwegian. We have cruised a number of times and were very disappointed with NCL First the GOOD things - The itinerary would have been great except two ports were cancelled (see below) -The cabins were OK, however smaller than most and very tight for 3 people -The wait staff; The waiters and bartenders were very happy, helpful, kind and genuinely wanted you to have a pleasant experience. Many remembered your name as well. -The food in the specialty dining venues was excellent and sometimes in the main dining room as well. Now the BAD/POOR issues. -Guest Services was basically non existent. Tried to call over a dozen times and they never once answered the phone. Visits were just as poor as they have no authority and knowledge to solve issues -Food was average at best and worse in the buffet. Service was slow except our server in the main dining room. Often waited up to 45 minutes for breakfast and lunch and often served cold -Majority of the movies on TV were children's movies, when the average age of people on this cruise was over 63 years old -No port information or maps were ever available nor shore assistance unless you booked one of their extortions (excursions) from the ship -No news briefs provided as other cruise lines -We missed two ports as a result of poor management. The ship was 5 hours late leaving as they were unable to load provisions etc in a timely manner, resulting in missing our first port the next day. We also missed a port in Scotland claiming high winds of 40-5- knots and unable to navigate the port. While I was standing on my balcony with sunshine and little breeze, I checked the marine weather report which said winds were 12-17 knots. I suspect there may have been engine problems as there was a significant diesel smell on decks 5-7 for a few days -Entertainment was very weak. We were not impressed with any main theater venue, however Sid Normans Bar had the best House band ever, which should have been on the main stage Overall this ship is very poorly managed with very poor customer service and trip management. The constant up sell is very annoying, but not unusual for most cruise lines Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise 3 weeks before the sail date, I just happened to see an email with the itinerary, which was great. NCL does offer great itineraries, but these very large ships are not for me. NCL took my money without making a ... Read More
I chose this cruise 3 weeks before the sail date, I just happened to see an email with the itinerary, which was great. NCL does offer great itineraries, but these very large ships are not for me. NCL took my money without making a reservation for me. Took days to clear up and resulted in my credit card company suspecting fraud on my account and then insisting that I get a new card with a new number. A very stressful start. I traveled alone for the first time and NCL provided a solo travelers meeting place daily along with reservations for dinner if you wanted to dine with the group, which was very nice. The cruise director was the best I have ever seen on my 14 cruises, very friendly entertaining, spontaneous and funny. BURN THE FLOOR was great ( saw it 2x), so was MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET. NCL needs to improve its service in the dining rooms, seemed like most of the wait staff had no idea what they were doing. Long waits for the food most days. The food is mediocre compared to other cruise lines. It was very hard to get a table att the buffet, We missed 2 ports, very disappointing, but I did get my shore excursion money back. Most of the excursions were good, Bergen on Foot very disappointing. Scotland had to wait over an hour for tenders to get back to the ship. Poor planning on NCL part, having all the excursions end at the same time. Large ships like the Getaway are not for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Copenhagen, Norwegian fjords, Iceland's Golden Circle, Scotland...what a cruise this was to be. And at a bargain price, DW and I had to sign on. We arrived in Copenhagen three days early and had a wonderful time in this beautiful ... Read More
Copenhagen, Norwegian fjords, Iceland's Golden Circle, Scotland...what a cruise this was to be. And at a bargain price, DW and I had to sign on. We arrived in Copenhagen three days early and had a wonderful time in this beautiful city. The Little Mermaid, Tivoli, Nyhavn, down the list. Great weather. A fine time was had. The Getaway was docked at Oceankaj, an easy public bus ride from our Nybro neighborhood hotel. (The bus service is available every day. Special express buses are available when ships are in town. Also, the Hop-on/off buses generally offer rides out, but check with them first to make sure.) Embarkation was a snap around noon, with a 4:00 PM departure set. Got a table in the Garden Cafe and soon found our cabin opened. Our inside cabin was very small and offered no drawers for clothes. The closet had very narrow side shelves, not really suitable for clothes. So, we lived out of our luggage for the duration. When four o'clock rolled around, we were going nowhere...logistical issues. We finally set off around 8. Problem was, the delay caused us to skip the first port of call, Haugesund, Norway. OK, the ship credited each room for $50 in compensation. These things happen. The sea day uncovered a problem with the Getaway that would haunt for the entire trip: It was cool (maybe 50F) and gray, with winds, keeping all but the most hardy inside. Getaway is a nice ship for warm weather cruising, but in the cold people cannot comfortably use the outside decks, hence are reduced to finding refuge inside...and the ship is not designed for that. In the context for 4000 passengers, there were too few activities to distribute people throughout the ship, so the masses were in the Garden Cafe or the Pub/Atrium areas. ...and there just isn't sufficient accommodating space for that. If you found a place to sit, you grabbed and held it. Our next stop was Flam, Norway, approached up a long, narrow fjord. Beautiful - be outside for the very best views. The various scenic delights kept one's head on a swivel. The town itself is nothing special, mainly a souvenir stop. Take the train up into the hills and enjoy more scenic excitement. Beware, tickets can be hard to come by. We were lucky as the narby tourist info office had self-service ticket kiosks and tickets available for the next train - leaving in a few minutes. The complicating factor was that the tickets are sent via e-mail. Take a picture of the order and receipt screens, to show the conductor in case your tickets fail to arrive. Mine finally arrived two days AFTER our stop. Without those pictures... Bergen is a cute small city. Take the funicular to the top of the hill. Take your pictures. Pet the goats. Then come back down and wander. It's very walkable, except to/from the dock. Pick up some whale meat sausage...or moose...or reindeer. Enjoyable place. Geiranger is another scenic wonder. Take the bus to the top and, again, get your pictures. Walk down from the museum along the raging stream and waterfalls. Beautiful. It was a short tender ride here. As at Flam, the scenery is the draw - a worthwhile trip again up a beautiful fjord. An at sea day was next, then Akureyri, Iceland. Nice small city. Easy walk to all the sights downtown. All of these places mentioned offer a hop-on/off bus service, as well as public transit buses. Reykjavik was next. There is ample opportunity to book a tour at the port tourist info office. The parking lot was full of buses and vans. Prices were reasonable. We independently did the Golden Circle tour, with a stop at "Secret Lagoon". We enjoyed a fine day. (If you go to Secret Lagoon, get the fish and chips there. Excellent!) Then another sea day to Invergordon, Scotland. The ship skipped the port due to weather issues. We were to dock there, and the port looked small. I'm guessing the ship was too big to enter port under the circumstances, which did not appear all that bad. As this was an act of God, no compensation was offered. Just another day of trying to claim some space. Edinburgh, Scotland, was our last port. The ship carries about 4000 passengers. Edinburgh is a tender port. Getaway took up a position fairly far from the harbour and tender dock. (About 60 minutes round trip.) We arrived early, with the first tender going off about 90 minutes earlier than originally scheduled. The problem was that there were no adjustments to ensure efficient use of the early tenders, and they were enforcing the tender group numbers issued, allowing group one to jump in at any time. The ship's excursion customers waited until time to catch their excursions...and this built a pig passing through the tender snake that was never fully digested. To make the story short, the last tender was scheduled to leave the harbour at 7:00 PM. By 5:30 PM the wharf looked like the Dunkirk evacuation. There were several hundred, if not over a thousand wrapped around the wharf and the little shopping area waiting for a ride back, with more coming. And then it began to rain. I digress at this point. There are behavioral differences that relate to culture. Some cultures do things like stand in line, while others prefer unruly mob scenes. When the two mix, it can get ugly. The ugly came when a large number of the mob culture showed up and rushed the orderly line, causing the line-standers to react similarly. It was like the last lifeboat was leaving! Port security just stood powerless to restore order. Once a line was reformed, people roamed around looking for their lost relatives, like a search for survivors. This was not the first, nor only such display of cultural difference on this voyage. Had it not been for the extended time in port there, the passenger load could not have been accommodated at all. Anyone with pad and pencil could have figured this out in two minutes. Tendering couldn't work in Edinburgh without the addition of larger, shore contracted boats, which eventually happened, passengers jammed from bow to stern to alleviate the shore stress. The ship finally got off well after 8. The public toilets had problems with auto flush not working well in several. They were a constant mess outside popular venues, such as the Garden Cafe. A large part was the apparent misuse by a certain segment of the passenger load, particularly ladies, who come from places where squatting is preferable to sitting on a toilet. It creates a mess that is compounded by those who don't know that used toilet paper can be flushed, not tossed into the receptacle provided for sanitary products. There is some education that needs to be done for these customers, or NCL can perhaps reconfigure toilets for squatters to use. Yeah, it was gross. Another problem was that a certain segment of customers enjoys drinking plain hot water in large quantities. In the Garden Cafe these customers would form a phalanx around hot water taps on coffee dispensers to fill bottles that held up to two liters, usually filling them by hand using coffee cups, and spilling water all over, besides denying access to coffee and tea drinkers at meal times. If possible, they inserted the dispenser into their bottles. Oddly, there is a sign in both English and German about the proper use of these dispensers, but none in the language of the mass of abusers. Worse, NCL personnel stood by the dispensers to assist the abusers, while others with mops tried to keep the flood from spreading. Certainly there must be a language-proficient officer and some markers with which to create temporary signs. Not to be outdone were others doing the same in the cold water line. Fill the things in your cabins, please. Same water. Of course, if NCL wasn't charging $5.50 for a bottle of H2O... There was an apparent cultural difference between passengers regarding the consumption of food. I have never before witnessed anyone eat a hard boiled egg and a bowl of oatmeal simultaneously, with the consumer putting the egg in mouth, taking a small bite, and spitting the whole egg back into the oatmeal to repeat. The exhibition was something to behold, by my standards. And then there was the sucking yolks off sunny-side fried eggs held to the mouth with one's fork. You had to be there! These were not isolated instances, either. A certain segment of the passengers had no understanding of queuing and waiting for one's turn. Didn't matter what was at the end of the line, they were to be first and grab the most. Ever see one person grab over a dozen bananas from the bowl at breakfast? I did. Grapefruit, oranges and other citrus was similarly popular. Much to be stuffed into a backpack. In the theatre there was a regular rush to skip tender queues. In at least one instance, the assistant cruise director implored someone who spoke their language to explain the process to the miscreants. By the end of the cruise there were many, including our party, that had had enough of the struggle and mess created by cultural difference and clashing behavioral norms. NCL had better take a hard look at this and fix things, either by modifying processes, such as setting aside hot water dispensers for bottles outside the beverage areas, or somehow segregating access. It's a shame, but a real fact that will be considered the next time we are shopping for a cruise. Oddly, there was not one sign in their language posted anywhere on ship - NONE! A third of the passengers, many of whom could speak no english, was without ship direction. This certainly needs to be rectified, as well as having announcements made in their language. We missed two ports. One due to a logistical issue (receiving a $50 credit), the other due to sea conditions. Two sea days with essentially nothing to do in the vacuum. Speaking of ports, there was literally zero port info passed to the passengers, the exception being Edinburgh, which sent out tourist reps with materials on the day of our visit. The port talks provided no practical info, mostly overly-detailed historical context. This was such a nice itinerary. It was not well served by the ship, many of its passengers, and some misplanning. NCL can do much better, starting with smaller vessels and a little imagination. The North Atlantic and Baltic are not the Caribbean. Read Less
Norwegian Getaway Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 N/A

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